Spoon River College hosted a College and Transfer Fair on October 19 in the Multi-Purpose Building on the Canton Campus. It coincided with National Transfer Student Week, which is recognized every third week of October as a way to highlight the success of transfer students and to continue to improve the transfer process for students who begin at one institution before transferring to another.

For bachelor degree seeking students, the required curriculum for the first two years is the same—whether it’s taken at a community college or a four-year university—and students often complete those first two years at a community college before transferring.

“Starting at a community college is a smart move financially for students; tuition is less and the need for student loans is reduced.  It can also be less overwhelming than starting at a bigger institution,” said Holly Norton, vice president of educational and student services at Spoon River College.

“Typically, once a student completes the required general education courses at a community college, they will be accepted by the university they are transferring to, but occasionally, an institution may want a student to re-take a class of theirs,” said Norton.

Spoon River College participates in the Illinois Articulation Initiative, a statewide agreement that allows transfer of the completed Illinois General Education Core Curriculum (IGECC) between participating institutions. Completion of that curriculum at any participating college or university in Illinois assures transferring students that lower-division general education requirements for an associate or bachelor’s degree have been satisfied.

Norton said the best options for transfer students are to either earn an associate degree or complete the general education core curriculum.  “We also always encourage students to work closely with their SRC advisor to make sure they are selecting those IAI courses. Students who have made the decision about where they are transferring to can also reach out to an advisor at the transfer institution.”

According to the Illinois Board of Education, Illinois not only leads the nation in bachelor degree completion rates (53.8%) among community college students who transfer to four-year colleges, it has also exceeded the national average of 42.2%